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The Need for Tourism with Quality as Well as Quantity

Tourism Tasked to Become Leading Source of Foreign Exchange for the Indonesian Economy.
As reported by Balipost.com, Indonesia’s strategy for tourism marketing is still linked to pursuing tourism visitor totals oftentimes not directly linked to the total of foreign exchange produced from tourism activities.

Commission X tabled the anomaly in hearings before the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) attended by the Indonesian Tourism Minister, Arief Yahya, in Jakarta on Wednesday, April 25, 2018.

The meeting intended to evaluate tourism policies also heard reports from the State Audit Board (KPK) reporting on the tourism sector. The Chairman of Commission X of the DPR, Djoko Ujianto, announced, “Foreign exchange from tourism must become the leading source in 2019 with a target of Rp. 280 trillion.”

Djoko explained that in 2017 the tourism sector was the 2nd largest source of foreign exchange after the palm oil industry, with tourism earning Rp. 203 trillion.

Foreign exchange reserves calculated at the end of December 2017 totaled Rp. 1,744 trillion meaning tourism is contributing 11.64% of the nations foreign currency earnings.

Tourism policy makers are calling on the Government of Indonesia to use data prepared by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) projecting that an annual growth rate of 3.3% in tourism will result in 1.8 billion tourists by 2030. Djoko said: “Commission X of the DPR-RI is urging the Ministry of Tourism to no only seek more tourists, but also find ways to increase the foreign exchange yielded by tourism.”

To achieve this, Djoko explained, there must be a greater appreciation that tourism is a lead sector in the economy that can become "the" leading source of foreign exchange. Adding: “Because of this, the Ministry of Tourism needs to improve coordination and the degree of synergy with other government agencies, provincial governments, and leaders in the tourism sector.”

Djoko said his Commission in the DPR-RI is calling on the Government to create an ecosystem conducive to tourism, the necessary infrastructure and better management so the tourism sector can play a larger role in the national economy. Continuing, he explained: “We recommend that the programs that need to be enhanced are the tourism awareness campaign (sadar wisata), the promotion of the 10 new priority destinations for tourism, Batam as a tourism destination, the 2018 Asian Games, the 2018 IMF-World Bank conference in Bali, and Taman Mini Indonesia in Jakarta.”

During the House Hearings, the Indonesian Minster of Tourism Arief Yahya reported that increasing amounts of foreign exchange are recorded each successive year. In 2015, Indonesia secured US$12 billion dollars in tourism earnings and in 2016, US$ 13 billion. The Minister said the growing amount of foreign exchange reflects the growing number of foreign tourists visiting Indonesian each year. Adding: “In 2017 the total number of tourism visitors to Indonesia totaled 14,039,799.”

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